Divorce is better than taking off the Hijab
Fatwa No: 64006


Is it permissible for a Muslim woman to take off her hijab because her husband does not perform the prayer — but he does not prevent her from performing prayer and fasting — and he is determined that she should take off her hijab under the pretext that it detracts from her beauty? Moreover, he feels embarrassed when he travels abroad with her. Please note that they have two children and that their marital life has worsened to the extent that they are considering divorce! The couple are Israeli Arabs.


All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad, sallallaahu 'alyhi wa sallam, is His slave and Messenger.

It is impermissible for you to unveil your hair even if your husband requested that you do so because you are not obliged to obey him in what constitutes disobedience to Allah, the Exalted. The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: "Obedience is required only in what is good." [Al-Bukhari and Muslim] Taking off the hijab is a grave sin given that Allah, the Exalted, has enjoined Muslim women to adhere to the hijab, and so did the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Allah, the Exalted, says (what means):

{It is not for a believing man or a believing woman, when Allah and His Messenger have decided a matter, that they should [thereafter] have any choice about their affair. And whoever disobeys Allah and His Messenger has certainly strayed into clear error.}  [Quran 33:36]

{So let those beware who dissent from the Prophet’s order, lest fitnah (temptation, trials) strike them or a painful punishment.}  [Quran 24:63]

It is impermissible for you to obey your husband in this regard even if it would lead to a divorce. There is no good in a man who hates the Commands of Allah, the Exalted, and those of His Messenger, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, and prefers his personal desires over them instead! Nonetheless, you should remind him of Allah, the Exalted, and clarify to him that doing this is impermissible. You should wisely and gently advise him; perhaps Allah, the Exalted, will soften his heart to submit to Islam and you may be a cause for his guidance and righteousness. As long as he does not perform the prayer, as you have mentioned, and you feel despair of his adherence to the obligation of the prayer, we advise you to seek divorce. Anyone who neglects the prayer is more likely to neglect other obligations! Moreover, some scholars consider the Muslim who abandons the prayer to be a disbeliever, and it is impermissible for the Muslim woman to remain in wedlock with a disbeliever.

Allaah knows best.

Related Fatwa